December 11, 2021

Lamborghini | Innovator who made a superior car industry

 The anecdote of Lamborghini takes us to the northern Italian province of Emilia-Romagna in a peaceful township of Renazzo di Cento(A place in Italy). Where poor grape farmers Antonio and Evelina Lamborghini raised their son Ferruccio in their family's vineyards. Young Ferruccio was born a Taurus (“Bull” Sign of astrology) though you'll know why it has a significant impact further. More significantly, he was born in 1916 smack dab in the middle of World War I.

How was Automobili Lamborghini founded | Lamborghini story with Ferrari car maker | Lamborghini Bull Logo | Lamborghini Trattori

Despite Ferruccio growing up to be hopeful and enterprising like most wretched Italians, during the early 20th century he had to face one crucial decision. He could either stick with his traditional occupation as a farmer or he could try to stay ahead of the curve and risk-taking up factories and industrial work. For Ferruccio however, the option was obvious he was obsessed with applications of machines and could hardly be kept out of his dad's garage. This eventually led him to study mechanics and in 1935 he felt confident enough to start his own workshop. 5 years later, Ferruccio was pulled from his civilian life thanks to World War II.

How did Ferruccio acquire Experience

He was recruited by the Royal Italian Air Force in 1940 and was allotted as a mechanic to the Garrison on the Greek island of Rhode. In the span of his duties, Ferruccio acquired valuable experience with scrapping and repurposing old machinery. In 1943 however, after Italy surrendered, a German formation forcibly took over the Garrison and expelled their former allies. 

Ferruccio could have fled but he decided to stay on as a civilian and with the authorization of the Germans, he started operating his own workshop. As much as the Germans loved Ferruccio’s technical mastery, 1945 came around, and with it arrived the Allied forces. They seized everyone in the Garrison prisoner, but after they noticed what Ferruccio could do, they got him to work fixing their vehicles for a year until they sent him home in 1946.

An opportunity turned into an Idea

Upon reaching back to Italy, Ferruccio started another short-lived workshop, but soon behind he was struck by a brilliant idea. His experience with both allied and axis vehicles gave him an advantage over most other mechanics. He knew that post-war Italy would need to increase its agricultural production to heal the damages of war, and where better to get the machinery to do so than from the extensive reserves of military equipment Mussolini's government head commission.

How did Ferruccio established Lamborgini Trattori 

Ferruccio’s ambitious plan was fixed in motion around the end of 1947 when he founded his first company. With just three other mechanics and ₺2000 (lira currency) in initial capital. Ferruccio took the large-scale production of affordable tractors into his hands. His main supplier was an ARAR(Azienda Rilievo Alienazione Residuati), a government-owned company responsible for selling all the extra military equipment left behind in the war. By taking an old British Morris engine and modifying it to run on cheap diesel instead of costly petrol Ferruccio created a groundbreakingly reasonable-priced tractor that could trade all across Italy. This was to be the foremost of his 'Carioca' unveiled on February 3rd, 1948 and Italy went nuts over them.

The design was so successful that Ferruccio started a second company Lamborghini Trattori(Tractor company), where he hired 4 new workers, purchased a factory in Cento(Place in Italy), and borrowed ₺10 million(lira currency), backed by his family's grapes farm to purchase hundreds of Morris, Perkins, and dodge engines from ARAR. He also arranged to enter of prestigious endurance race called Mille Miglia, he drove his rebuilt Flat Topolino, but he collided beside a restaurant and gave up racing for the rest of his entire life. Despite his company doing excellent, by 1950 Trattori had a workforce of 30 people and could produce upwards of 200 tractors per year. Demand was rising rapidly and so in 1951, Ferruccio acquired 1000 M2(Meter square) of land upon which he built a new factory. 

1951 saw the introduction of the L33 tractors whose rage would greatly satisfy the government allowance to farmers who used domestically built machinery. After assigning a deal with Motorenwerken Mannheim for their diesel engines, Lamborghini could now create tractors completely on their own. Ferruccio's new factory produced its first tractor in 1956 and by that point, he could simplify his engine design around three tiers of HorsePower. Ferruccio even traveled across the Atlantic to purchase heating and air conditioning technologies from the US. By the early 1960s, Lamborghini’s tractor factory had 400 employees stirring out as many as 30 tractors a day. Some of their most prominent developments during the time were a series of air-cooled tractor engines and even helicopter concepts though the government never supported them. In 1961 Ferruccio disclosed an independent oil heater factory and by that point, he was so wealthy that he decided to satisfy his love of sports cars.

How Enzo Ferrari's Insult led Ferrucio to create a car that was better than Ferrari

Being a learned mechanic himself, Ferruccio was imperative to any engineering faults he found in any cars he owned. Among them are two Alfa Romeos, two Maseratis, a Jaguar E-type, a Mercedes Benz, and of course several Ferraris. The Ferraris most appealed to Ferruccio whereas he found them to be needlessly noisy and thought they had a scanty interior. He was largely aggravated by the bizarre tendency of the Ferraris to constantly have a clutch breakdown. 

After finally getting unhappy with all these restoration bills Ferruccio took the problematic vehicle directly to Modena, where he personally confronted Enzo Ferrari regarding the clutches. According to Ferruccio, Enzo basically brushed him off and told him to stick to driving tractors. That's not terribly surprising coming from the guy who fired most of his senior staff when they grumbled about his wife but Ferruccio saw it as a challenge.

How was Automobili Lamborghini founded?

He was well familiar with the returns to be had in the grand tourism industry so in 1963 the tractor tycoon launched an automobile factory near Sant’Agata(Place in Italy). Thus, out of the primordial urge to give Enzo a reply. Ferruccio created a car named Automobili Lamborghini. For the brand's logo, he chose a bull, after all, it was his own astrological sign, and also had a deep infatuation with bullfighting. This preferably fearsome creature proved to be a proper representation of Lamborghini’s company as a head through milestone year after year.

Which was the first Lamborghini?

The first functional Lamborghini GT350 was built in 1964 with the support of young engineer Paolo Stanzani. It integrated some extremely amazing technology including a v12 engine, 5-speed transmission, 4-wheel disc brakes, and four-wheel independent suspension. Creating the GT 350 was complicated and its prototype suffered from some serious design flaws that were made very apparent during its streamed entry into the 1963 auto show in Turin. The most considerable issue was the fact that the engine itself would not even accommodate within the car's body panel. Ferruccio’s solution was to seal the compartment with bricks and to keep the cover shut at all times. After all the show was all about glimpsing at cars, not driving them.

In the end, the GT 350 was a technical masterwork and was complimented by critics and customers alike. 1966 got the 400 GT and Miura P 400. The Miura was especially renowned for setting the Rear mid-engine layout as the benchmark for all high-performance cars of the era, a standard that is still beneficial today.  It was initially developed as a street racing vehicle by a team of fierce engineers directed by Marcello Gandini they kept this project mysterious from Ferruccio since he was against creating race cars due to his own racing incident in 1948. When Ferruccio understood the new design, he was fascinated enough not to discard it but he folded down his no-racing policy. 1968 Saudi Espada established itself as one of Lamborghini's most eminent classics along with the Libero 400 GT. The company continued its successful Spot, debuting renowned models like the Countach LP 500, the Urraco P250, and the Jaramaa 480 GTS.

Evolution of Lamborghini from Fall to Rise

Crisis on Lamborghini

The 1970s however would be a problematic time for Lamborghini. In 1970 two years after the abolition of the Bretton Woods system, the global stock market underwent a dramatic crash with the dove erasing nearly half of its value. And the same time OPAEC(Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries) started an oil embargo, which greatly lifted the price of fuel and brought the automotive world into its own emergency. As if all of that wasn't enough Lamborghini Trattori was also hurt when a deal to provide Bolivia with 5000 tractors was canceled after the 1971 coup by Hugo Banzer. Ferruccio did his best to keep his various enterprises alive. He eventually found buyers for the unsold tractors and he also relocated his oil heater factory to Dosso in Nigeria in the end though he was forced to sell shares of Lamborghini to outside investors to outlast his business from bankruptcy. The crisis broke Ferruccio and although he managed to save Lamborghini he retired in the face of across-the-board strikes and unionization that had spread across Italy.

In 1973 he sold the Trattori company to another Italian tractor manufacturer. A year later he sold his remaining 49% stake in Automobili Lamborghini to a Swiss businessman named Rene Leimer. A friend of Rene had previously bought the remaining 51% and together they hope to revive the brand. Despite their tries, they failed, and ultimately, Automobili Lamborghini was forced into liquidation. In 1980 Italian government sold Lamborghini for $3 million to the Mimran brothers to French entrepreneurs who owned immense sugarcane farms and Flour Mills in Africa. The brothers had ambitions to renovate all Lamborghini facilities and form a new team of engineers, but they soon ran over funding and ended up selling the company.

Lamborghini into the hands of Chrysler and then Volkswagen

In 1987, Lamborghini went into the hands of Chrysler who wanted to import the luxury car brand into the United States. Less than 5 years later Lamborghini still hadn't gained profits so Chrysler sold it to Indonesian Conglomerate. The Indonesian actually managed to restore the brand moderately and in 1996 Lamborghini made a modest profit of $120000, As luck would have it in 1998 an economic crisis knocked Asia, and Lamborghini was sold again. 

This time the buyer was Ferdinand Piech of Volkswagen who had bought a Bentley and Bugatti the same year. Under the paternal care of Volkswagen Lamborghini found its structure heavily streamlined. This allowed it to finally regain its place in the luxury sports car market. 

To fulfill the challenges of the 21st century Lamborgini started aggressively marketing its brand name while all the same time funding heavily into material research and development. They have diversified their cars to demand a broader range of budgets even though their most subordinate price is still prohibitively costly to the average. The Pinnacle of victory for the modern Lamborghini is undoubtedly the Gallardo which has throughout its 10-year production runs sold barely over 14,000 units thus evolving Lamborginis’s most popular design ever.

Rise of Lamborgini

2015 marked the most profitable year of the company's history as the sales jumped from over 2500 to 3000 cars. They've already manufactured other heavy hitters such as the Urus SUV concept of the Huracan, inheritor of Gallardo. So far it seems that Lamborghini’s game of corporate hot potato has finally reached an end, at least for the time being. It's safe to articulate that if Ferruccio could witness his company now, he would be satisfied that Lamborghini is once again recreating the red flag to Ferrari’s Bulls.

As the cars will be electric in the coming years, Lamborghini is planning to launch its first-ever electric supercar in the coming year 2027.

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